Mauricio Canyon Fire Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed in Las Animas County District Court claims that the negligent acts of two men caused the January forest fire that burned more than 4,000 acres in southern Colorado.

The suit was filed by County Attorney Jesse Manzanares and another lawyer on behalf of several plaintiffs, including county residents Butch and Betty Morgan, who owned construction and dirt moving machinery destroyed by the Mauricio Canyon Fire.

The men being sued are Walker Ranch owner Craig Walker and his foreman, Kenneth Lutz.

Lutz was arrested on Feb. 22 and charged with fourth-degree criminal arson.

The suit seeks damages for losses from the fire, including a $40,000 backhoe.

Lutz faces up to six years in prison if convicted of the arson charge.